Introduction

I'm a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Manchester, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. My research lies at the intersection between variationist sociolinguistics and topics in phonological theory and language change; I also have a keen interest in northern English dialectology, and my work on the synchronic variation in post-nasal /g/-deletion touches upon all of these topics.

My Masters dissertation looked into the social and internal constraints on (ing) in northern English varieties where competition exists between three variants: [ɪn], [ɪŋ], and [ɪŋg]. My doctoral research, supervised by Maciej Baranowski and Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero (previously by Laurel MacKenzie), pursues a number of further questions regarding the synchronic and diachronic behaviour of these /ŋg/ clusters and how their variability is represented in speakers' grammars.

Research interests

  • Variationist linguistics and phonological theory

    I'm a variationist at heart, and much of my work into the variability inherent in language is particularly concerned with internal factors and what they tell us about how variation is represented.

    My ongoing research into diachronic and synchronic frequency effects in Manchester /t/-glottalling, conducted alongside Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Maciej Baranowski and Danielle Turton also engages with important issues of phonological representation.

  • Forced alignment software

    As a keen user of Forced Alignment software like FAVE, I have looked into the possibility of using such methodological tools to automate the detection of sociolinguistic variation.

    I've presented on this topic at NWAV (read about it here and here!) and I'm currently pursuing further ways to increase efficiency in variationist analysis and improve the accuracy of speech~text alignment.

  • Dialectology and geospatial data visualisation

    I love data visualisation, and this goes hand in hand with my interest in dialectology and regional variation. I've been involved in a cool project with Laurel MacKenzie and Danielle Turton mapping regional variation throughout the UK, which you can see here. The project has also been used in a promotional video for the department.

    More recently, I've also been collecting geotagged Tweets to explore how 'big data' and social media can be used in dialectology. I've already analysed a subset of this data (around 16 million tweets), which you can read about here.

Conferences

Invited talks

Year Title Abstract Slides
2016 Regional variation in 140 characters: mapping geospatial tweets
Paper presented at the Workshop on Using Twitter for Linguistic Research, University of Kent, 31st May

Talks and posters

Year Title Abstract Slides
2017 Velar nasal plus in the north of (ing)land
Paper presented at UKLVC11, Cardiff University, 31st August
2017 Synchronic evidence for diachronic pathways of change: /g/-deletion and the life cycle of phonological processes
Paper presented at FWAV4, University of York, 29th June
2017 Synchronic evidence for diachronic pathways of change: /g/-deletion and the life cycle of phonological processes
Poster presented at the 25th Manchester Phonology Meeting, University of Manchester, 27th May
2016 Velar nasal plus in the north of (ing)land
Paper presented at NWAV 45, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 4th November
2016 Ahead but not faster: the effect of high token frequency on sound change
(with Maciej Baranowski, Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero & Danielle Turton)
Paper presented at NWAV 45, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 4th November
2016 A stationary frequency effect in Manchester English
(with Danielle Turton, Maciej Baranowski & Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero)
Paper presented at the LAGB Annual Meeting 2016, University of York, 8th September
2016 A stationary frequency effect in Manchester English
(with Danielle Turton, Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero & Maciej Baranowski)
Paper presented at the 24th Manchester Phonology Meeting, University of Manchester, 27th May
2016 Velar nasal plus in the north of (ing)land
Paper presented at the 7th Northern Englishes Workshop, University of Edinburgh, 14th April
2015 A constant rate effect in Manchester /t/-glottalling: high-frequency words are ahead of, but change at the same rate as, low-frequency words
(with Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Maciej Baranowski & Danielle Turton)
Paper presented at the Edinburgh Symposium of Historical Phonology 2, University of Edinburgh, 3rd December
2015 Orthographic reflections of (ing): a Twitter-based corpus study
Poster presented at the Manchester Forum in Linguistics, University of Manchester, 6th November
2015 Automatic detection of sociolinguistic variation in forced-alignment
Paper presented at NWAV 44, University of Toronto, 24th October
2015 Linguistic markers of England's north-south dialectal divide: an attitudinal study of bath and strut
Poster presented at UKLVC 10, University of York, 1st September
2014 East Fife, four... Forfar, five: intonation of the classified football results
Paper presented at Manchester Forum in Linguistics, University of Manchester, 13th November
2014 Crowdsourcing dialectology in the undergraduate classroom
(with Laurel MacKenzie & Danielle Turton)
Paper presented at Methods in Dialectology XV, University of Groningen, 12th August
2014 That's how people grow up: language change across Morrissey's lifespan
Poster presented at Reflections on Language, University of Manchester, 10th May

Publications and theses

Year Title Abstract Full text
2016 Automatic detection of sociolinguistic variation using forced alignment
U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 22.2: Selected Papers from New Ways of Analyzing Variation 44
2015 Social and internal constraints on (ing) in Northern Englishes
MA dissertation, University of Manchester

Teaching

During my doctoral studies I have been a TA for a number of undergraduate courses:

  • Linguistics of Names Semester 2, 2015/6
  • Linguistics of American English Semester 1, 2016/7
  • Language Variation and Change Semester 2, 2016/7
  • Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences Semester 1, 2017/8

My roles include preparing and delivering seminars and guest lectures, marking student assignments, meeting with students in office hours to provide one-to-one support, and assisting the course unit director in other matters relating to teaching. I am also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, having completed an accredited training course to receive formal recognition of my teaching ability.

Experience and skills

Experience and responsibilities

Skills

  • Phonetic analysis and scripting in Praat
  • Programming in Python, HTML, CSS, XML, and XSLT
  • Ultrasound tongue imaging
  • R/ggplot
  • LaTeX
  • Visualisation and statistical analysis of geospatial data
  • Forced alignment and automatic vowel extraction tools
  • Transcription using ELAN
  • Starring in departmental promotional videos!